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Performance Management

Poor performance can happen for many reasons but often managers shy away from direct discussions with poorly performing employees. However, this not only leads to the employee working inefficiently or making mistakes which can be costly for the business but it also has a detrimental impact on team morale. Whether you can deal with performance issues on an informal basis or you need to implement a more formal performance improvement plan, we can help guide you through the process to follow.

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If you have moved to a form of hybrid or remote working it is particularly important that you have good systems in place to monitor and manage performance for those working away from the office. You should also have a clear policy in place setting out the circumstances in which hybrid or remote working arrangements may be altered where there are concerns regarding performance.

What we can help with around performance management

  • Creating and updating robust management policies and capability procedures that are fit for purpose
  • Advice on the effective use of probationary periods, one-to-ones and appraisals
  • Effective Performance Improvement Plans, including setting targets, reasonable timescales for improvement and support/training required
  • Conducting performance management investigations and collating evidence
  • Conducting performance management meetings including issuing written warnings
  • Advice on managing remote employees
  • Reasonable adjustments for disabled employees
  • Managing poor attitude to work
  • Dealing with appeals
  • Avoiding unfair dismissal and discrimination claims
  • Creating and updating robust hybrid and remote working policies setting out how you will monitor performance  and manage performance issues when they arise


We run regular HR courses at our offices and external venues over the year designed for HR professionals and those responsible for HR within their organisation. We also run webinars on these topics. Keep an eye on the Events section of our website to see upcoming courses.

In-House Counsel

Our team of experienced lawyers is well-equipped to support you in various ways. Whether you require advice on a specific issue, additional resources due to capacity constraints, or a second opinion, we are here to help. Explore our legal counsel page for more information and details on our schedule of seminars, specifically designed for in-house counsel.

How we work with you

Whilst based in the South of England, Paris Smith acts for businesses and families throughout the UK. Technology has enabled us to provide a high level of service to our clients whether they are local to our offices or not. Our advice can be given in many ways:

  • Over the telephone
  • Via video conferencing
  • In face to face meetings

We will talk through how you would like to be contacted and the best ways for us to meet in our early conversations with you.

Get in touch to speak with an expert.

Chambers Alternative 500

Introducing your key contacts

Clive Dobbin

Partner and Head of Employment, Southampton

David Roath

Partner – Employment Team, Winchester

How we’ve helped our clients

“Paris Smith provides outstanding service. Paris Smith provides outstanding service. Our experience is continually a highly positive one with concise, relevant advice given with patience and clarity. From assistance and training in updating policies and procedures to advising a college on their obligations both in relation to individuals and more widely, in regards to the Public Sector Equality Duty, we have found Paris Smith to be always diligent, thorough and very supportive.”


Totton College

“I have been a client of Paris Smith’s Employment law department for several years, including for the resolution of a challenging worker-related dispute. The team has been superb throughout, far exceeding my expectations in terms of their professionalism, proactiveness, pragmatism and generous spirit, often going above and beyond in their service delivery to bring the matter to a far better than hoped for conclusion. At a personal level, everyone I dealt with was delightful too. Paris Smith will certainly remain by ‘go to’ law firm for employment and other legal advice!”

Dr Katja LH Samuel, Chief Executive Officer

Global Security and Disaster Management

Performance Management Resources


Claire Merritt and Tabytha Cunningham | 21st May 2021

Performance management process: getting it right in your business


Claire Merritt and Tabytha Cunningham | 21st May 2021

Performance management process: getting it right in your business

In our latest employment law podcast, where employment law experts Claire Merritt and Tabytha Cunningham dive into the complex topic of performance management. They explore and advise on how to manage poor performance, why its so important, the key components of a good performance management process and how to address concerns.

Show notes:

Why is performance management important? Good performance management leads to better productivity, open communication and allows managers to identify, and more importantly resolve issues.

How has performance management been affected by the pandemic? Good performance management is difficult at the best of times, and the pandemic had led many businesses to be in survival mode which means performance management slips off the radar.

What are the key components of performance management processes? The important things to remember are to be continuous, and have structure.

Claire and Tabytha discuss the importance of tailoring targets and performance criteria for individuals.

How do you set up a performance management process? Its not plain sailing! There is no ‘one size fits all’ but employers should focus on making it realistic, and investing in managers is key.

Claire and Tabytha discuss how important it is to set goals and targets that are appropriate.

How to use your system to manage those poorly performing – remember the aim is always improvement, not dismissal.

How to identify the reasons for poor performance. This could be anything from training requirements to personal issues. Managing this is an important part of good performance management.

Claire and Tabytha discuss how formal and informal performance management processes can be used together, and how they can serve different purposes.

What happens when an employee’s performance does not improve, despite a robust procedure?

Claire and Tabytha tackle a common question: how long do you set targets for?


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